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Monday, April 27, 2015

What is Chalk-Based Paint, Anyway?

In one sentence....a time saver!  I'm sure you've heard all the hype about these paints by now, but if not, I'll get you up to speed.  Once upon a time, it was very difficult to get your hands on chalk-based paints.  You either had to drive quite a distance to find a dealer, or you had to order it online & pay shipping.  Now they are popping up everywhere, including KalamazooKitty.com! However, they are not all created equal.  So far I've tried every brand of chalk-based paints I can get my hands on, and found they really are quite different.  Some are very thin and just don't cover well.  Others are too thick and hard to use.  Some stick to anything, like they are supposed to, and others scrape right off.  Some have an odor, while others are completely void of smells.  And I haven't even started talking about the wax yet!  So which do I prefer????  Heirloom Traditions Paints, including the DIY line!

Why do I love that brand enough to sell it in my stores?  Many reasons!  From the standpoint of a business owner, they are an incredible company and the customer service is amazing!  This is a company who wants you to receive your order quickly, accurately and undamaged. And that is exactly what happens.   Having been in business for over 30 years, they know what they are doing!  From the standpoint of a consumer, it is an awesome product!  There are over 50 great colors, not to mention the DIY line.

Introducing...Debi Beard!  Debi is a blog and YouTube expert.  She has been teaching the world, via the internet, how to paint furniture for years.  Her work is incredible!  She developed a line of paint colors within the Heirloom Traditions Paint Company with fun names like, Hey Sailor and Fancy Farm Girl.  You are going to love her colors!

If Mermaid Tail isn't screaming your name, I don't know what is!

To wax or not to wax?  I am asked that question a dozen times a day, which is fine because I LOVE this wax!  So first let's find out what the wax is all about.  Just like the paint, there is a line of Heirloom Traditions wax, as well as DIY wax.  They are all water-based and non-toxic.  No horrible gasoline smells! With the perfect consistency, not too soft and not too hard, they are incredibly easy to apply.  So with so many colors to love, can I possibly choose a favorite?  Probably not, but I am totally addicted to the Barnwood Wax right now!  This desk above was in sad shape when I got my hands on it.  It was a deep blue, spray-painted piece, without a desk top.  I added a few old boards to the top and finished them off with Hemp Oil (I'll get to that in just a minute).  As for the base of the desk, I added one coat of Irish Creme and distressed it quite a bit to get the blue to peek through.  Then I applied the Barnwood Wax with a rag.  Ooh La La!


But Barnwood isn't the only wax color to choose from!  Check out these colors available in 2oz, 4oz & 8oz sizes:

Dark Umber
Eggplant
Jet Black
Muddy Pond
Old Gold
Olive Green
Peacock
Periwinkle
Raspberry Sorbet
Rusted Metal
White Lime
Clear

The possibilities are endless!  Between the great paint colors and all those wax colors, you could create a one-of-a-kind piece everyday until the cows come home!  And by the way, you do NOT need to clear wax first before you use a tinted wax! The process of using these products is all about saving time.  So choose your paint, choose your wax and have at it!

Still not sure about waxing?  Fear not!  Debi also has a Liquid Patina in both clear and dark.  This product is so easy to use and can take the place of a wax.  Just rub it on with a rag and that's it!

Always remember that a wax or Liquid Patina will not give you the protection you need on kitchen cabinets, a dining room table or an outside piece.  I would suggest the Aqua Clear or the Best Top Coat to finish off those pieces.  And yes, those top coat products can be applied over wax!

I promised a note about Hemp Oil, so here it is...the addition of this food safe oil to their line is awesome!  I love it over thirsty wood because it enhances the wood tones and grain to perfection.   But don't stop there!  Use it as your "top coat" to finish off your piece painted in the chalk-based paints.  It gives a great luster and soft feel.

Overwhelmed?  I haven't even scratched the surface (and if you painted with Heirloom Traditions Paint, your surfaces won't scratch either).  If you live in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area, sign up for my paint classes and see the products demonstrated first hand.  Always check my website @ www.kalamazookitty.com for class days and times.  I offer a Basics class, Advanced class and Kitchen Cabinets class.  These classes are demonstration only and cost just $10.  Bring a friend, grab a cup of coffee and sit back & enjoy!

This is from Kalamazoo...to you!



Monday, April 20, 2015

Old Rusty Bed Springs?

Bed springs?  Why would I blog about old rusty bed springs?  Why not?!  Most days you can walk into either KalamazooKitty.com location and find bed springs, either loose or still intact.  Take this one for example:
Some people might look at that and wonder why on earth someone would want to buy a rusty bed spring!  Others, like you and me, see a project or a great display piece.  So I did a little hunting around Pinterest and Google Images to see what I could find.  HOLY COW!  Let's dig in...
Bed Spring Sun!  What a great piece for a fence, the perfect spot in your garden or an empty place on your front porch or house.  But don't limit yourself!  This could certainly hang above a fireplace or a bed.  During the holidays, add white lights!  Add ornaments, garland, or tinsel.  Not into rusty metal?  Spray paint it any color of the rainbow!  I found this project on Cindee's Garden Blog.  Love it!






Christmas Tree?!  Of course!  What a simple project to do with the kids.  Stretch your spring a bit to get it to stand upright and go to town with decorations!  I love how simple this one is.  The rope base adds a great touch as well.  I found this project on Danielle's Place.












Now we are talking!  I love this spring being used as functional art!  A message board, a photo gallery, a pin-up station, homework central, sewing center and on and on!  What a great use of something that would otherwise be thrown away.  I found this photo on Pinterest.  The watermark says Funky Junk Interiors and the website says vintiquitiesmuse.blogspot.com, but that reroutes you to another page.  I just want to give credit where credit is due!  Great idea for any home!

How 'bout one more?

I just love this!  I found this photo on Pinterest, but no credit for the creator.

For about a thousand or so more ideas on what to do with an old rusty bedspring, just Google It!

Okay...so next time you run across one of these treasures, grab it and turn it into something awesome (and send me a photo)!

This is from Kalamazoo...to you!